During the CDC Know Hepatitis Campaign Launch and Hep B United Event, five champions were honored for their exceptional leadership & dedication in addressing the issues of Hepatitis B amongst AAPI populations. They are the first of their kind and will forever be remembered for their significant contributions in the hepatitis B community. Read more about the Champions below!
Dr. Howard Koh
North East Medical Services
Howard K. Koh, MD, MPH, Assistant Secretary for Health, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services
Dr. Koh has provided exceptional national leadership to advance the science and medicine of hepatitis B. In spearheading the first-ever HHS Viral Hepatitis Action Plan published in May 2011, Combating the Silent Epidemic of Viral Hepatitis: Action Plan for the Prevention, Care & Treatment of Viral Hepatitis, he has truly made hepatitis B a national health priority and gives hope that it could be eliminated within our lifetime. As Assistant Secretary for Health of HHS, Dr. Koh oversees 14 core public health offices — including the Office of the Surgeon General and the US Public Health Service Corps — as well as 10 regional health offices across the nation and 10 Presidential and Secretarial advisory committees. He is dedicated to the mission of creating better public health systems for prevention and care so that all Americans can reach their highest attainable standard of health.
Cynthia Jorgensen, DrPh, Team Leader in Education and Training, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Division of Viral Hepatitis
Dr. Jorgensen, Team Leader in Education and Training in the Division of Viral Hepatitis at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is leading the effort to implement the CDC’s first national hepatitis B campaign — “Know Hepatitis B” – to reduce the burden of hepatitis B in the U.S., particularly in high-risk Asian and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities. As a highly accomplished behavioral scientist, adjunct professor at Emory University, and Past President of the Society for Health Education (SOPHE), she uses applied research to design and implement successful national health communication campaigns, Dr. Jorgensen was instrumental in leading very successful CDC campaigns to promote colon cancer screening and skin cancer prevention. Today, she is bringing her formidable talents, experience and leadership to the problem of hepatitis B, which is good news to all those who care about and are affected by this serious liver disease.
Ms. Karen Jiobu, Asian American Community Services and the Ohio Asian American Health Coalition
Ms. Jiobu is passionate about hepatitis B issues and has been instrumental in providing screening and education activities in the Asian community of Central Ohio with impact for the whole state. She has been the Lead Regional Coordinator of the Health through Action Grant for the Ohio Asian American Health Coalition (OAAHC) from 2008 through 2011, which was funded by the APIAHF and the Kellogg Foundation to eliminate hepatitis B in AAPIs as well as build the capacity of the community-based organizations in Ohio. She first started screening for hepatitis B in 2006 at the Asian Festival Health in Columbus, OH and successfully advocated for the Ohio Department of Health and the Columbus Public Health Department to provide free vaccination for those who tested negative for hepatitis B. Ms. Jiobu’s 30 years as a Laboratory Director at a large multi-hospital system provided her with valuable knowledge and experience to facilitate the creation of the Asian Free Clinic at the Ohio State University College of Medicine that provides treatment for the uninsured, and implemented a train-the-trainer program for Asian community leaders to reach more of the non-English speaking AAPI community.
Ms. Aurora Jose-Wong, Hep B Free – Las Vegas
Ms. Jose-Wong is the driving force behind the creation of Hep B Free-Las Vegas (HBFLV) and serves as the coalition’s coordinator to address the tremendous risk that hepatitis B poses to AAPIs. Launched in February 2011, HBFLV offers direct services through education and screening events; conducts research to learn the best approach to addressing hepatitis B in a resource constrained setting; and has developed a customized database program to track and evaluate the coalition’s screening results. What makes HBFLV unique is that Ms. Jose-Wong started it in a region of the country that doesn’t have the traditional public health infrastructure of other states and cities. She recognized a significant unmet need in Las Vegas, and used her network of political and professional contacts to build a successful coalition to address hepatitis B in the many high-risk communities living in the city. Additionally, Ms. Jose-Wong has taken a unique approach to adding technology to her community programming and data collection that is invaluable evidence needed to substantially change practices and policies around hepatitis B.